Welcome to the age of diminishing returns

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The climate conundrum


Jo Abbess summarizes very nicely the climate communication conundrum on her blog. Here is an excerpt, to which I have added an extra paragraph (image from Tumeke)

By Jo Abbess

The Evangelist : “Climate change is so serious, we need to tell everybody about it. Everybody needs to wake up about it.” The Audience “We have heard this all before. Do pipe down.”

The Social Engineer : “Everybody should be playing their part in acting on climate change.” The Audience : “This story is too heavy – you’re trying to make us feel guilty. You’re damaging your message by accusing people of being responsible for causing climate change.”

The Social Psychologist : “By making such a big deal out of climate change, by using Apocalyptic language, audiences feel there is no hope.” The Audience : “Climate change is clearly not a big deal, otherwise the newspapers and TV would be full of it all the time.”

The Post-Economist : “Climate change is caused by consumption. We need to reduce our consumption.” The Audience : “We don’t want to be told to live in cold caves, eating raw vegetables by candlelight, thanks.”

The Defeatist : “It’s already too late. There’s nothing we can do about it. All I can do is sit back and watch it happen.” The Audience : “Isn’t that being a little too negative ? If you think there’s nothing that can be done, what hope have we got ?”


The Scientist (extra paragraph by Ugo Bardi): "We have clear proof that climate change is occurring and that it will cause immense damage if we don't do something to stop it."  The Audience: "We like you scientists when you bring us solutions. We hate you when you bring us problems."

Read the rest of Jo Abbess's post here.

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